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Board votes to keep Superintendent Brown

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Pamela Brown survived a movement Wednesday night to remove her as Buffalo Schools Superintendent. The Board of Education supported her by a five-to-four margin.

School board leaders expecting a large crowd for the vote were not disappointed as supporters of the embattled superintendent spoke on her behalf during the public comment period.

Brown herself defended what she has done saying she inherited a district in bad shape and she is turning it around.

"Instead of all of the infighting and disagreement and all of this, we should be acknowledging the progress that has been made in this district," Brown told the Board.

"We should be coming together as a community. Where you see districts that are successful, people in the community embrace the children. The children come first."

The superintendent says the district confronted tougher state standards and is surmounting them.

Board Member Carl Paladino moved to remove her after a long executive session on confidential issues. 

"We can't wait for her to learn how to be a leader," Paladino said during the session.

"Every constituency of the Buffalo public schools is in a complete upside down state. The morale is terrible in every constituency. We have schools that are graduating ten-percent of their kids and it's ongoing."

Later in the evening, even Brown's supporters joined opponents in rejecting her choice for  district public relations leader at $115,000 a year.  The superintendent hired Lorey Schultz and signed a contract with her before the board demanded a vote on the choice.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.